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Pope Francis and the College of Cardinals at their April 2023 meeting (Vatican Media)

Pope Francis and his international Council of Cardinals this week continued discussions about the role of women in the Church, listening to women experts, including a professor who spoke about how culture impacts women’s roles and status. Source: CNS.

The Pope and the nine-member council invited women, including an Anglican bishop, to make presentations at their meetings in December and February.

The council met on Monday and Tuesday in the Domus Sanctae Marthae, the Pope’s residence, the Vatican press office said.

On the first day, Sr Regina da Costa Pedro, a member of the Missionary Sisters of the Immaculate and director of the Pontifical Mission Societies of Brazil, shared “stories and the thoughts of some Brazilian women,” the press office said.

Stella Morra, a professor of theology at Rome’s Pontifical Gregorian University, “examined the role cultures have in the recognition of the role of women in different parts of the world”, the press office said.

The second day of the C9 meeting began with a report about the ongoing Synod of Bishops on Synodality by Cardinal Mario Grech, secretary-general of the Synod of Bishops, and Msgr Piero Coda, secretary-general of the International Theological Commission.

The meeting concluded “with reports from each cardinal on the social, political and ecclesial situation in his home region”, the press office said.

“Throughout the session there were references – and on several occasions prayer – dedicated to the scenarios of war and conflict being experienced in so many places around the world, particularly in the Middle East and in Ukraine.

“The cardinals – and with them the Pope – expressed concern about what is taking place and their hope for an increase in efforts to identify paths of negotiation and peace,” it said.

The council will meet again in June.


Pope, Council of Cardinals continue discussion of women in the church (By Cindy Wooden, CNS)